Netizens were given a rude awakening after discovering that a number of their favorite Kpop songs were no longer available on Spotify. Several artists such as Seventeen, IU, Moon Byul, Epik High, MAMAMOO and more have had tracks, if not entire discographies removed from their Spotify profile. Artists and fans were quick to express their distraught on social media.
How the Spotify Kakao M Kpop Fiasco Started
According to multiple sources, a mass of songs that are under Kakao M licensing became unavailable at 12AM KST. This is due to the contract expiration between Spotify and Kakao M in regards to song licensing and distribution.
Earlier speculations pinned blame on the launch of Spotify launching its service in South Korea. Many speculated that Kakao M was concerned over losing userbase for their streaming service “Melon” due to added competition. However, two statements released by both Spotify and Kakao M indicates that that issue is an entirely separate entity. The translation by website Soompi reads:
“Unrelated to our preexisting global licensing agreement with Spotify, Kakao M has been separately negotiating with Spotify regarding a domestic contract for the supply of music,” stated Kakao M. “Unrelated to the domestic contract, which we are still negotiating, we separately received notice of the expiration of our license on February 28, and we requested a renewal of our existing global contract.” – as seen in Soompli
Current Situation of Kpop on Spotify
Both Spotify and Kakao M have released press statements regarding the recent upheaval. It currently sits at a “he says she says” situation where both parties are claiming that the other will not renew/negotiate licensing contracts. The TL;DR for fans of the affected artists is that both Spotify and Kakao M have expressed interest in restoring the unavailable music on Spotify again. Unfortunately, the nature of the situation is still in its early stages. It remains unclear whether there will be actual action taken.
In light of recent drama and the blatant mistreatment of artists, fans have decided to find other means of streaming. The most popular option as of now is YouTube Premium, which provides ad-free experience for all YouTube content. The service includes YouTube Music, YouTube Gaming and access to YouTube Originals.
Why Kpop Stans are Switching to YouTube Premium
The recent fiasco is starting to push many netizens towards other streaming platforms. So far, the most popular choice is YouTube Premium. Subscribing to Premium has many benefits, as includes the YouTube Gaming, YouTube Music and YouTube Originals benefits.
For Kpop lovers, YouTube Music is a surefire way to support their favorite artists. Streaming music videos through Premium accounts guarantees that their views will be recorded in a video’s view-counter. Additionally, streaming through Premium accounts also grants the video’s rightsholders additional royalties on top of the generated ad revenue. As other prominent streaming services, such as Kako M’s own Melon are unavailable internationally, YouTube Premium is a great alternative.
Generally speaking, YouTube Premium has plenty of it’s own benefits unique to Spotify. In addition to ad-free videos, you can also play them in your phone’s background, allowing for multitasking. YouTube Music also has an integrated video feature, where you can include concert videos, covers, mashups, and remixes into your playlist. As YouTube is a free platform for creators to share, there is generally a wider variety of content on it to benefit Premium users.
How You Can Make the Switch to YouTube Premium
Piqued your interest? You can subscribe to YouTube Premium and fill that Kpop void Spotify has left you easily with the following steps. You don’t even need a credit card.
Firstly, you need to log into your Google Play account. Once you’ve done that, change your payment method via the website payments.google.com. You can either fill up your credit card details, OR directly deduct from your Google Play balance. From there, it’s pretty much smooth sailing, but you can check our detailed guide on how to subscribe to YouTube Premium if you’re having trouble. You can use Google Play Gift cards which are really easy to use to top up/ increase your balance. Get Google Play Gift Cards for any region from SEAGM!
Once you’ve redeemed your gift card and topped up your Google Play Account, then it’s time to subscribe to Youtube Premium! All you have to do is just select Google Play balance as your payment method and click Buy to complete the transaction. That’s all! If you can’t bring yourself to leave the conveniences of Spotify, or want to bribe your Kpop friends into staying with the service, consider getting them Spotify gift cards.